The Washington Times - January 5, 2008, 05:19PM
Houston

\ Since I can’t yet blog about CES from Vegas, I’ll share the tale of my grotesquely unpleasant traveling disaster instead. Here’s what went down:\

SEE RELATED:


\ 3:40 a.m. EST — Woke up to catch a Continental Airlines redeye leaving at 6:00 a.m. for Las Vegas via a connection in Houston.\

\ 4:20 a.m. — Arrived at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.\

\ 5:25 a.m. — Boarded plane. Sat and listened to loud man seated behind who was preventing sleep. Tried to sleep; failed.\

\ 7:00 a.m. — After more than 90 minutes of sitting on a motionless aircraft, the pilot informed us the engine wouldn’t start. Airport authorities suspected the problem was a faulty air cart (machine used to provide the compressed air to start an airplane’s main engine). Two additional air carts were unable to do the trick.\

\ 7:17 a.m. — The pilot revealed that everything that could be done has been done; it’s an ignition problem, he said. Mechanics were summoned.\

\ 7:34 a.m. — Received confirmation that the engine had started.\

\ 7:56 a.m. — Aircraft became airborne.\

\ 10:41 a.m. CST — Arrived in Houston, having missed connecting flight along with dozens of other irate passengers. Was offered a seat on a direct flight leaving at 5:30 p.m. CST, missing the CES press orientation at 4 p.m. PST.\

\ 12:11 p.m. — Was unable to snag a seat as a standby on an overbooked flight. \

\ 2:30 p.m. — Was turned away as a standby from yet another flight. Was informed that luggage was sent ahead on 12:11 p.m. flight. Demanded vouchers and access to VIP lounge; received two $6 snack coupons. \

\ 2:51 p.m. — In positive news, I have found a bar with the Redskins pre-game show on, although without sound. I’m scheduled to leave on a 5:30 p.m. flight. Wish me luck. \

\ — Kara Rowland, business reporter, The Washington Times \